Patriots halt Denver rally for 31-21 win
BY HOWARD ULMAN Associated Press
Monday, October 08, 2012
10/08/12 at 5:20 AM
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. (AP) - The familiar showdown had a new twist - Peyton Manning in a Denver Broncos uniform. It ended as it usually does with Tom Brady winning the matchup of marquee quarterbacks.
But not before Manning nearly pulled off another fourth-quarter comeback in a career filled with them.
In their 13th meeting, and first since Manning left the Indianapolis Colts, Brady directed four scoring marches of at least 80 yards and the Patriots won 31-21 on Sunday. He's 9-4 in his career against Manning.
"Nobody I'd rather have than Tom Brady," New England coach Bill Belichick said, "but Manning's a great player."
Manning had led his teams back in the fourth quarter to 36 comeback wins. And the Broncos (2-3) rallied from a 31-7 deficit with about five minutes left in the third quarter on Manning's scoring passes of 2 yards to Eric Decker and 5 yards to Brandon Stokley.
The Patriots (3-2) lost the ball on Stevan Ridley's fumble on their next possession and Manning completed a 28-yard pass to Demaryius Thomas to the Patriots 14-yard line. But two plays later, Denver's comeback hopes faded when Willis McGahee fumbled and Jermaine Cunningham recovered at the New England 11 with 3:42 remaining.
Original Print Headline: Brady wins duel with Manning
Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, left, and New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, right, meet after the Patriots' 31-21 win in their NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass. STEVEN SENNE / AP Photo